New Words: epiphytic

Wow! Caitlín R. Kiernan‘s Alabaster: Pale Horse is an excellent “let’s be excited about Halloween read.

Spook-city! ::love!::

The garden is darker than the alley, the low, sprawling limbs of live oaks and magnolias to hide the moon, crooked limbs draped with Spanish moss and epiphytic ferns.

ep⋅i⋅phyte /e’pifaɪt/
noun
plant that derives moisture and nutrients from the air and rain; usually grows on another plant but not parasitic on it 🔗
syn: air plant, aerophyte, epiphytic plant

Alabaster: Pale Horse is published by Dark Horse.

These are a collection of short stories focused on Kiernan’s character Dancy Flammarion, the daemon-hunter ass-kicking gal from Threshold

There are also comics, also from Dark Horse…

What are you lining up for your Spooky Reads? I know there are a lot of read a longs and read challenges and so forth out there.

20140826-202809-73689804.jpg

Up to Snuff*

20140821-204300-74580691.jpg

Snuff, Terry Pratchett**

this, I love. Typical slapstick-to-satire-to-gravely serious Pratchett:

Let it be said here that those who live their lives where life hangs by less than a thread understand the dreadful algebra of necessity….

20140821-200802-72482576.jpg

*ha. ha.

** ok ok. simmer down, you canonical types. I am aware that I skipped over Making Money and Unseen Academicals.

***I didn’t actually skip these. I have a bad habit of leaving appropriate reading material lying about in prime locations. For example, Making Money is upstairs by the rocking chair; Unseen Academicals is stashed in the Contraband Fiction Drawer at the work library. Thus, when I was presented unexpectedly with a pair of hours to read, I had to quickly find another Pratchett from Columbus Metro Library. … Ah, never mind, it’s a bookish life.

Bubonicon 47, dispatches from Kat!

Bubonicon 47 was a blast! I was fighting a cold from a very recent plane ride but with modern medicine I was able to persevere. I dressed as
Batgirl, my youngest was Batman (imagine a three year old with a cape and angry-face cowl), and my oldest was Iron Man (also Captain BadGuy when he wore the black cape with it). We had so much fun. I bid on about 6 things at the art auction (I still had the lead on 4 last night), bought fun
things at the dealer’s room, and met lots of authors!! Here is my bounty:

20140806-174244-63764819.jpg

Beth has been gently suggesting I read James S. A. Corey for years, so I
bought the first in the series, Leviathan Wakes. I read the frist few pages while in line for autographs and am seriously hooked. This is kind of a
problem since I’m halfway through two big books already. Always room for one more! I ran into Daniel Abraham and mentioned my book. Why? Because the bookseller (Who Else? from Denver) said that James Corey is actually two authors, both of whom were at the con. Yay! Daniel said he is the “James”. part and Ty Frank is the rest. I got both of their autos and Ty drew a rocket ship for me.

I met with Kirt Hickman again, and got the second in his Worlds Asunder
series. I remember reading the first one but I can’t remember the
story….don’t you hate that? I know I liked it, so I’ll get to it again.
Space operas rule. He signed it as usual and was a nice guy to talk to. He
is super excited about books and writing.

I caught the eye of a lady in the autograph room and she said, “Wanna free book?” I said “YES PLEASE!” and ran over there. She gave me her latest, The Wish List, and signed it for me. I read the back and determined it was
exactly my kind of in-between-big-books-read and made a point to find her and thank her again. It has magic and silliness and defending the world
problems. Yes please!

Oh, but the main reason I went while fighting a cold was to meet Ernest
Cline, who wrote Ready Player One. If you have not read this, go read it
right now, I really think it is one of the best books in the last 5 years,
and made my top three of all time personal favorites along with Hobbit and Cabinet of Curiosities. That’s saying a lot for me. Anyway, read it and/or find the audio version because Wil Wheaton narrates it beautifully. I know, I know, I’ll have to write a review for it!

And this totally happened:

20140807-095041-35441028.jpg

listening

“Very few people know how to listen. Their haste pulls them out of the conversation, or they try internally to improve the situation, or they’re preparing what their entrance will be when you shut up and it’s their turn to step on stage.”
-from Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg

big dumb summer movies

one of my many amusements is to embarrass my husband in public by loudly declaring all of the movies I have not watched in all of my forty years.

so! what SF/ F movies go on our July, September and August list?

i have seen:
Star Wars
Harry Potters allof’em
lord of them rings
2001
Indiana Jones
aaaaaand! Reign of Fire (my fave).

It’s actually very likely that I have not seen…whatever. I haven’t seen Top Gun or Dirty Dancing, for example. Or the one about pod people.

I have of course seen The Last Unicorn, The Rats of NIMH, and Romancing the Stone.

What am I missing from my SFF literacy?

Here he asks: have you seen Jaws? “no.”

20140701-204343-74623240.jpg

The Arte of the Booke

Here’s a crafts woman who knows her shtuff. Nancy Hulan creates handmade journals from parchment (like… parchment), leather and high-quality papers. She also does calligraphy and illumination, the quality and detail of which make my eyes water. She takes her designs from Medieval Europe, recreating techniques and carrying them forward to encompass illuminated maps of fantasy lands from the 20th century. Anyone need an illuminated calligraphic map of the Mountains of Madness?

I gave her all my money when I found her in the vendor room at RavenCon. The books she made hold up to snuff. They lie flat, they don’t crack or break, they can be re-filled when I choose to do so (with some hand stitching, I mean), and they’re just – er – very very nice. Practical, useful and beautiful.

I’ve never seen craftsmanship at this level of mastery. I was absolutely stunned.

Hulan’s scrap calligraphy on parchment makes the cover of one of the books I purchased. 20140623-152105-55265781.jpg
A leather bound notebook reinforced with wood, not cardboard, makes a great companion into my own craft workshop for notes and ideas. 20140623-152210-55330319.jpg

Here. Don’t drown in your own drool. Buy yourself something nice.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArteOfTheBooke/

Mid-Series Burnout

Do you experience a crash and burn in the middle of a fantasy or SF series?

I’m half way through the second of a trilogy and am having trouble picking it back up. Normally a slow reader, this experience is really dragging me.

Urrr! I feel so guilty! I like to books, the characters, the plot development and most especially the writing. Worst is that I genuinely think it’s a series Darkcargo readers will enjoy, and thus I have extra pressure to get it read.

Three Hit Games at Origins 2014

The Columbus Area Board Game Society set up their lending library at Origins, as they have done for many years. I got to work the library on Friday and Saturday mornings.

These three games were not back on the shelf for two minutes before they were checked out again:
Sail to India, AEG
Splendor, Space Cowboys
Star Realms, White Wizard Games

20140615-130519-47119356.jpg

CABS library, just some of it:

20140615-130548-47148952.jpg